Brave New World that Has No Such People Really In It.

why bother with real life when you can do it with yer fingers? An explanation of Second Life.

I'm all cranky and shit about our techno-world life because of a major retail chain I'll call Smears. I wanted to call someone up, order a garbage disposal and have them bring the damn thing to our house and put it in. Seems pretty easy, eh? I don't want the stinkin' computer for this so I pick up the phone.

Here are highlights of the seven phone calls:

Chipper computer voice: Which department do you want. For a listing of possible departments please say listing.
me yelling: A person!
CCV: Okay, Appliances.
MY: No, no, a human.
CCV: I'm sorry. I didn't get that. Do you want large appliances, such as stoves and refrigerators?

I hang up after CCV tries to convince me that I should do this online and I should hold for an operator. I know their operators aren't local.

Phone Call #2:
I'm at the part where CCV is telling me para el español, diga el español, when the dog trots by with a kid's shoe in her mouth and I yell Stop. Yes, CCV sends me into the Spanish menu where I start yelling English! English! like some kind of anti-immigration maniac.

My fault, I admit it. I should have hit the mute button.

I finally get a local sales yokel and he says he has no idea how that works. He says he'll call me back. He doesn't.

I call again and get another human and start the order. When I give my address she wants me to spell Hartford. Ah, I have been sent elsewhere after all. It's a big city in the Northeast, I explain. Well not huge, but we have a huge collection of insurance companies and drug-dealers. She doesn't care. She's in Phoenix. Hey, I've heard of her city.

I make my order with the Smears person who doesn't want to know about Hartford. No, I don't blame her for that. but I do blame her for the part where she gives me an order number and tells me that I should set up some kind of appointment with service to come to my house.

Apparently she didn't put my order through because when I call the locals the next day to set up the service part, they've never heard of me. I go to some switchboard, probably in the Philippines because I can't place the accent. No, no one has that order number. I'm put into a system where I'm supposed to type in the telephone number I called from. No, don't recognize that number, CCV says, gravely. She's sorry she can't help me.

At least it's the first and only time Smears hangs up on me.

I try again. No, CCV doesn't know me, or my order number or the phone I called in on.
During that call, I eventually get a person who says I should call the number. But I made this order by phone on PURPOSE. Because I wanted to speak to PEOPLE. I'd already discovered a year ago that if you try to do things online and include service, you're screwed. That is why I used the telephone.

Call the dot com number the woman says.

I do. She was right. The next woman at last tracks down the order numbers. This is seventh phone calls in and I'm done. Since the order has just gone in, and hasn't cleared yet, I can cancel the goddamn order. She wants to know why and I start my rant about CCV and no clear system and no way to get one person to do the damned job and she interrupts with "I'll just mark that you changed your mind."

I drive over to the small local appliance store and buy a garbage disposal. Less than five minutes to buy the thing and set up a service appointment. They'll be here Monday.

Just now I got an email from Smears thanking me for my order. "If you have any questions regarding the installation of your order, please contact us at 1-866-277-1324."

Not too damned likely.

I'll be calling the automated 24/7 line for the credit card to make sure the order didn't slip past CCV and her friends. I don't mind that techo-call.


  1. You left out the part where you called and someone with a very distinct Indian accent introduced himself as "Bob." I hate SMEARS, but I bought my vacuum from them and it is the only place I can get bags now. 8 years later. Smears. Bags.

  2. Anonymous8:45 AM

    Hi - In honor of you I...
    - Called the toll-free number you listed
    - waited on hold for nearly 5 minutes*
    - when a human answered, I said,"It took you nearly 5 minutes to answer the phone, when you get that down to one minute, I'll give you my business." And I hung up on her.
    - I felt better for you

    *I was at work, on a speaker phone, so I was doing something else while I was waiting. I wasn't completely throwing my time away.

    (Remember, I was honoring you - so don't make fun of me.)

  3. CD no one told me his or her name but I know I ended up in foreign lands at least once. Or maybe just talking to someone in Phoenix with that strange, strange accent.

    Anonymous, yer funny and even...silly.

    I was on hold at godaddy for 20 minutes the other day but they did warn me about the wait. And they gave me a no music option. Now that's civilized.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

what I'm talking about above--the letter in RWR

My Writing Day with an Unproductive Brain